3 top officials suspended in IAAF probe

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Three senior athletics officials have been provisionally suspended by the IAAF's ethics board pending an investigation into their alleged involvement in a suspected cover-up of Russian doping cases, the sport's governing body said yesterday.

Nick Davies, who was chief-of-staff to International Association of Athletics Federations President Seb Coe, was suspended along with his wife Jane Boulter-Davies and IAAF medical manager Pierre-Yves Garnier.

Davies stood down from his role six months ago pending the investigation into a "potential breach of the IAAF's code of ethics", and at the time denied any wrongdoing.

Davies, his wife, an IAAF education official, and Garnier did not immediately respond to email requests for comment. The IAAF said it had not received a response to the suspensions from any of the trio.

The ethics board said the suspensions had been imposed to protect the integrity of the sport "but do not prejudice the outcome of the investigations".

It said the case related to an email reportedly sent by former IAAF consultant Papa Massata Diack to his father and then-IAAF president Lamine Diack in July 2013. The email, reported by the French daily Le Monde, allegedly showed that the three were in receipt of, or had knowledge of, a cash payment to withhold details of attempted cover-ups of Russian doping cases.

Other emails leaked by Le Monde showed Davies had discussed with Papa Diack developing a media strategy to limit the news impact of a series of positive tests by Russian athletes ahead of 2013 the Moscow world athletics championships.

Papa Diack has denied any involvement in bribery or corruption and says his father Lamine is also innocent. French authorities are investigating the elder Diack, who Coe replaced as IAAF president in August, on charges of corruption and money laundering.

IAAF Ethics Board Chairman Michael Beloff said the suspensions were decided after the board determined that there was a prima facie case to answer that warranted investigation.

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